Tesla Nevada Gigafactory Works to Reduce Smoke Exposure from Mosquito Fire

Water tender crews watch as they return fire during the Mosquito fire in Foresthill, an unincorporated area of ​​Placer County, California on September 13, 2022.

Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images

As massive forest fire in the past week it has chewed through tens of thousands of acres of land in California, smoke and ash shrouding nearby cities, including Sparks, home to Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada.

Tesla is taking steps to protect employees as much as possible from exposure to smoke from the wildfire, known as the Mosquito Fire, but the company is no longer shy about laying off workers.

According to an internal memo provided to CNBC, Tesla told plant employees that the building’s heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) system was put into “recirculation mode to limit the amount of outside air entering the plant.”

On Thursday and Friday, the overall air quality around the Tesla facility was rated from “unhealthy” to “very unhealthy” with about 57 micrograms of fine particulate matter per cubic meter of air. US air quality index.

When air quality is this bad, people of all ages are advised to severely limit outdoor activities and wear a mask outside to filter out smoke and other pollutants. They are also advised to keep their windows closed to keep their homes and offices from getting dirty.

Over the past year, Nevada Gigafactory HVAC filters have been upgraded to MERV 13 or higher to trap wildfire particles. Tesla told the workers that these filters were being replaced more frequently this year, and this should continue in smoky conditions.

Last year, the region was also hit by wildfires and air pollution. California Kaldor Firefor example, burned over 220,000 acres in 2021, destroying homes, land and causing dangerous air quality in surrounding areas, including Nevada.

According to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), “Climate change, primarily driven by the burning of fossil fuels, is increasing the frequency and severity of wildfires, not just in California, but around the world.”

Workers in or frequent outdoor areas have been urged to pick up their N95 masks at the Gigafactory office and have been briefed on air quality levels this week.

As of late Friday, the Mosquito Fire was 20% contained. CalFire websitewith cooler weather forecast for the weekend, which is expected to help firefighters in their efforts to put out the blaze.

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